23/10/2002

New recruits banking on 'Bridge To Employment'

The Ulster Bank Group has teamed up with the 'Bridge To Employment' programme to recruit 23 new permanent members of staff for its Account Management Centre at Danesfort, Belfast.

The new jobs will see staff providing administrative and telephone support for Ulster Bank customers, as well as for the company's network of over 200 branches and 33 business centres throughout Ireland.

The main objective of the 'Bridge To Employment' programme is to equip the unemployed - and in particular, the long-term unemployed - with the skills necessary to compete for new employment opportunities on an equal basis with others.

Tom Scott, Director of Skills and Industry Division at the Department for Employment and Learning, said: "Unemployed people typically find themselves in a catch-22 situation – can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job."

He added: "This programme can help overcome this barrier by providing suitable training, the opportunity to apply for a job, and attend an interview."

Philip McClurg, Ulster Bank's Head of Account Management Operations, said that he was pleased with the outcome of the partnership with Bridge to Employment.

"The programme helped match the needs of our business with the aspirations of committed and trained local people," he said.

(CL)

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